Metallica‘s Lars Ulrich may best understand where the notoriously cantankerous Lou Reed comes from. In an interview with his bandmates and Reed, Ulrich tells the Telegraph that the Velvet Underground legend enters each circumstance with suspicion.

“Most people have a tendency to start a conversation in a neutral position and then see where it goes,” Ulrich says. “(Reed) starts in a negative position, then you’ve got to go to neutral and then to positive. When he feels comfortable and trusts people, he opens up, and incredible things can happen.”

It sounds like during much of the interview with the Telegraph, Reed was stuck somewhere short of neutral. He is aware that the collaboration with Metallica was a commercial and critical failure, but “Who cares?” he says. “I never wrote for them then, I don’t write for them now. I have no interest in what they have to say about anything. I’m interested in whether I like it. I write for me.”

He then goes on to declare: “I think this thing needs a champion. This is for people who are literate. This isn’t ‘I cry in my beer cause you f—ed him and ran your truck through my bar.”

At one point in the story Ulrich has to defend the interviewer. A video (posted below) shows a different side of the singer. He talks about the project with enthusiasm — enthusiasm being a somewhat relative word in this case. “It pushed me to the best I’ve ever been,” Reed says of working with Metallica on ‘Lulu.’

Ulrich and James Hetfield agree that the project was destiny realized. “We’ve always seen a lot of Metallica in Lou Reed,” Ulrich says after explaining how the two artists came together and walking viewers through the progression. Despite one’s personal evaluations of the album — in all honesty, there aren’t many of those as it sold as well as heat in a Mississippi August — its clear everyone involved feels they are better off for following their artist’s spirit into this land of unknown. Metallica agree they’ve emerged a better band.

Watch Metallica and Lou Reed Talk About Working Together